BORDERWAR: APRIL 10TH 2006Mon Apr 10, 2006 21:20
Microchips implanted in Mexican officials
Carlos Altamirano is scanned to show the 16-digit code of his implanted VeriChip chip in this file photo from July 2003 in Mexico City. Now the same technology is being used by Mexico's attorney general and hundreds of others.
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CLICK: Mexicans get chipped. Shot in the arm for RFID?
Chips read by RFID scanners
Aceves said his company eventually hopes to provide Mexican officials with implantable devices that can track their physical location at any given time, but that technology is still under development.
The chips that have been implanted are manufactured by VeriChip Corp., a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions Inc. of Palm Beach, Fla.
They lie dormant under the skin until read by an electromagnetic scanner, which uses a technology known as radio frequency identification, or RFID, that's now getting hot in the inventory and supply chain businesses.
Scott Silverman, Applied Digital Solutions' chief executive, said each of his company's implantable chips has a special identification number that would foil an impostor.
"The technology is out there to duplicate (a chip)," he said. "What can't be stolen is the unique identification number and the information that is tied to that number."
Erik Michielsen, director of RFID analysis at ABI Research Inc., said that in theory the chips could be as secure as existing RFID-based access control systems such as the contactless employee badges widely used in corporate and government facilities.
However, while those systems often employ encryption, Applied Digital's implantable chips do not as yet. Silverman said his company's system is nevertheless safe because its chips can only be read by the company's proprietary scanners.
Thousands sold to distributors worldwide
In addition to the chips sold to the Mexican government, more than 1,000 Mexicans have implanted them for medical reasons, Aceves said. Hospital officials can use a scanning device to download a chip's serial number, which they then use to access a patient's blood type, name and other information on a computer.
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve microchips as medical devices in the United States.
Still, Silverman said that his company has sold 7,000 chips to distributors worldwide and that more than 1,000 of those had likely been inserted into customers, mostly for security or identification reasons.
In 2002, a Florida couple and their teenage son had Applied Digital Solutions chips implanted in their arms. The family hoped to someday be able to automatically relay their medical information to emergency room staffers.
The chip originally was developed to track livestock and wildlife and to let pet owners identify runaway animals. The technology was created by Digital Angel Corp., which was acquired by Applied Digital Solutions in 1999.
Because the Applied Digital chips cannot be easily removed -- and are housed in glass capsules designed to break and be unusable if taken out -- they could be even more popular someday if they eventually can incorporate locator capabilities. Already, global positioning system chips have become common accouterments on jewelry or clothing in Mexico.
In fact, in March, Mexican authorities broke up a ring of used-car salesmen turned kidnappers who were known as "Los Chips" because they searched their victims to detect whether they were carrying the chips to help them be located.
AP Technology Writer Brian Bergstein in New York contributed to this report.
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
INTERNET RADIO YOUR WAY.....
GET READY TO BE CHIPED!!!
http://www.apfn.net/audio/A002I06031523555700550-rfid3.MP3 (4.56MB) 6Min 37 Sec
http://www.apfn.net/audio/A003I06031601051000550-rfid4.MP3 (4.42MB) 6Min 25 Sec
http://www.apfn.net/audio/A002I06031523555700550-rfid5.MP3 (4.55MB) 6Min 37 Sec
http://www.apfn.net/audio/A003I06031601051000550-rfid6.MP3 (4.60MB) 6Min 41 Sec
http://www.apfn.net/audio/A003I06031601051000550-rfid7.MP3 (5.81MB) 8Min 26 Sec
http://www.apfn.net/audio/A003I06031601051000550-rfid8.MP3 (3.10MB) 4Min 29 Sec
http://www.apfn.net/audio/A004I06031602453700550-rfid9.MP3 (4.34MB) 18Min 58 Sec
"You can run, but you may not be able to hide. Not just from Big Brother, but Big Business, writes Katherine Albrecht in her book Spychips, a detailed analysis of how Radio Frequency Identification technology -- RFID for short -- threatens to erode the last vestiges of our privacy."
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